BAT recently launched an all-new vape called the Vype iSwitch in the UK with plans for an early 2019 expansion
The vaping market has continued to grow at a breakneck pace ever since they first hit the scene about ten years ago. But as all vapers know, this growth hasn’t meant widespread acceptance, at least not quickly. There is an increasing amount of peer-reviewed research on vaping, and as such we have an improving understanding of the many benefits of vaping. For example, we know that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, which results in vapers having an approximately 57,000 times lower chance of developing cancer than a demographically similar smoker. Unfortunately, this evidence has only slowly eroded that skepticism surrounding vaporizers.
But if anything should be a crystal clear indication of the extreme harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping it should be the fear that the industry strikes in the hearts of Big Tobacco. If e-cigarettes didn’t have legitimate value in helping people off of cigarettes for good, why would so many tobacco conglomerates be preparing to jump ship to the vaping industry? This process has already started in many places across Asia, but British American Tobacco (BAT) is now readying a push into the UK vaping market with a new device.
BAT’s Latest Product
The new device in question from BAT is called the Vype iSwitch, and it’s not their first foray into the vaporizing market. They had previously launched a Heat not Burn device called Glo in Japan, but after early success sales have dropped off, accounting for a 10% reduction in target revenue. The new Vype iSwitch will cost around £30, with an upgraded version called the Maxx selling for £50. The new product can only be found in one of five stores run by BAT’s VIP brand in London, but a much larger launch is planned for early 2019.
One of the things that separates the iSwitch from other vaporizers is the method with which it heats e-liquid. Instead of using a traditional metal coil or ceramic bucket, this device utilizes a stainless steel blade. This innovative new design is said to produce a more substantial amount of robust vapor per hit according to BAT. But while the new model has some people excited, many others are worried about the trend of Big Tobacco companies launching vaporizers.
The Trend For Big Tobacco
BAT is by no means alone in their apparent quest for vaping market share. Philip Morris International, the largest tobacco company in the world, has been making it clear for over a year now that they see a relatively soon day in which they no longer sell tobacco cigarettes at all. They’ve already launched their iQOS, heat not burn device in many countries, with a planned expansion into the US according to their CEO, Andre Calantzopoulos. In addition to that, they also pledged $80 million a year for the next 12 years to start and fund the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, aimed at comprehensive vaping research.
Altria, the second largest tobacco company, is reportedly in talks to purchase a minority stake in Juul Labs. This comes after most flavors for their own vaping device called MarkTen was pulled from stores earlier this year. Some were surprised by their reaction to the FDA’s crackdown, but now it’s clear they merely saw it as an opportunity to jump ship to an already massively successful product like Juul. If the deal comes to pass, it will not only prove further that Big Tobacco companies are attempting to take over vaping, but it will also be a significant hit to Juul Lab’s credibility as a company whose primary goal is helping people end their dependence on tobacco.
We simply cannot allow Big Tobacco to waltz in and steal the vaping industry right as their industry is failing. After all, e-cigarettes were only invented as a means of helping people end their dependence on smoking once and for all. If we allow the same companies who are responsible for decades of misinformation and millions of premature deaths to effectively take over vaping, there will be nothing stopping them from manipulating their product for revenue’s sake just as they did with tobacco. The independent vaping industry has proven to be more than capable all on its own. If we genuinely want to end the smoking epidemic for good, we must prevent companies like PMI, BAT, and Altria from sneaking into the vaping industry.
Are you worried about the impact of Big Tobacco companies on the vaping industry? What is the best way we can work to prevent Big Tobacco from stealing market share? How should we educate others about the benefits of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.